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Baker's Dozen

God's Own Medicine: Wayne Hussey's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , October 10th, 2013 08:06

We put in a long-distance call to Brazil to ask The Mission frontman and former Sister Of Mercy about the gems in his record collection


Television - Marquee Moon
I’m a huge Tom Verlaine fan, and for me Marquee Moon is probably the best guitar record ever made. Followed by Adventure, and probably Tom’s first solo album too, both great albums. Marquee Moon is, again, one that you don’t skip tracks. It’s all angular and it’s almost jazz, some of the guitar playing, and I’ve spent many hours sitting down playing along with this and I can still never really work out what the guitar is doing. And Richard Lloyd, I mean we can talk about Tom Verlaine obviously, but Richard Lloyd was no slouch on the guitar either. I actually met Tom a year or so ago in São Paulo, he played a couple of acoustic shows with this guy called Jimmy Rip, who has now become a friend of mine. He’s the guy I was telling you about who used to play with Jagger. But he was playing with Tom at the time, so I actually got to meet Tom, very briefly and I was a total fanboy, you know, very nervous about meeting Tom Verlaine, and I shook his hand and it was quite humbling, really. I loved the show; you hear all these songs stripped down to acoustic guitar, and it’s a great way to hear those songs, but even on an acoustic guitar he makes that guitar sound like no-one else can. There’s some kind of alchemy in the tips of his fingers, some kind of vibrato thing he does; I don’t know what it is, it’s the way of his style, even on the acoustic guitar you can hear it. And Marquee Moon is a classic album.

It came out around the same time as the first wave of punk, and the first Ramones album, and so there were all these fast, short, three-minute songs, and then Television come out and play ‘Torn Curtain’ or ‘The Dream’s Dream’ on the second album, which is slow and really long and lots of meandering guitar and it’s absolutely beautiful. I have a feeling that Tom didn’t listen to guitarists in the conventional sense, and that’s what informed his style. I think he maybe came from more of a jazz background. Not in terms of playing, but in terms of what he was listening to. That’s what it sounds like a little bit to me. I also think that Neil Young has the same thing a little bit in his guitar playing too; he sounds a bit like Tom Verlaine, or Tom sounds a bit like Neil Young, you know. Although I think Tom may be a little more deliberate in what he plays than Neil Young, I think Neil Young is a lot looser.